Semifinal Saturday Set at Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships

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Semifinal Saturday Set at Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships
Cavalier freshman Elbaba continues to impress


– The main draw singles and doubles semifinals are set for the 2012 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, hosted by the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. In singles, Virginia freshman Julia Elbaba collected two more wins on Friday, giving her nine victories in seven days, as she began her quest for the title in the pre-qualifying singles draw.

Elbaba started the day facing another freshman qualifier in Florida’s Danielle Collins. Elbaba appeared to be overmatched from the start, quickly falling behind and dropping the opening set 6-1 to the Gator rookie. The second set was tightly contested, with Elbaba able to pull it out 6-4 to force a decisive third set in which Elbaba emerged victorious 6-4. In the quarterfinals, Elbaba drew returning ITA All-American Petra Niedermayerova from Kansas State. The freshman was clearly energized from her three-set victory earlier in the day, riding the momentum to a convincing 6-2, 6-2 win over Niedermayerova.

The other three semifinalists are all seeded players, but two of them had to fight their way to Saturday. Third-seeded Lauren Embree of Florida cruised through her round of 16 match against Penn State’s Petra Januskova, but was pushed to three sets against SEC rival Brynn Boren of Tennessee. Embree rallied back from losing the first set to take the match 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. USC’s fourth-seeded Zoe Scandalis played a couple of three set matches on Friday, dropping the first set in both matches before coming back for the victory. In the round of 16, Scandalis defeated Columbia’s Nicole Bartnik 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; Scandalis managed to down Stanford freshman Krista Hardebeck 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(0) in the quarterfinals. The fourth semifinalist is eighth-seeded Danielle Lao of USC, who collected two wins over qualifiers, including playing only seven games in the round of 16 before South Florida’s Ecaterina Vasenina was forced to retire, to move on to Saturday.

Only one round of doubles was contested on Friday, with three of the four matches producing the same result. The Women of Troy’s top-seeded tandem of Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria ended the run of qualifiers Melissa Kopinski and Rachel White of Illinois by a score of 8-4, while the unseeded duo of Beatrice Capra and Hanna Mar from Duke defeated Wyoming’s Simona Synkova and Veronica Popovici 8-4. Qualifiers Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely of Tennessee, a team that has built a tradition of incredibly strong doubles, moved through to the semifinals with an 8-4 victory over Michigan’s fifth-seeded pair of Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender.

UCLA's Morton and Anderson
It wasn't easy for the fourth-seeded Bruin duo of Robin Anderson (right) and
Skylar Morton, but they advanced to Saturday with a 9-8(7) triumph.
Photo by Allen Weiss

The doubles match of the day featured the four seeds Robin Anderson and Skylar Morton of UCLA against Alabama’s Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane. Strong doubles play highlighted a match that eventually was forced into a tiebreak, where the Bruins edged the Crimson Tide nine points to seven to stay alive and move on to the semifinals.

2012 Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships action continues from the Riviera Tennis Club on Saturday at 10 am PT. will be on site providing a live broadcast of Saturday’s matches.

For complete coverage of the 2012 Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships, including access to updated draws, please visit Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Pacific Palisades. Use the hashtag #RivieraITA for all tweets in regards to Riviera, or search the term "RivieraITA" to find others who are tweeting the events from the Riviera/ITA Women's All-Americans Championships, Sept. 29 to Oct. 7.

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